The first in Publix’ new generation of GreenWise Markets opened in Tallahassee today. Check the Tallahassee Democrat’s comprehensive look inside (including 48 photos) to get a preview of what the Lakeland store scheduled to open early next year might look like. We say “might” because the canny marketers at Publix will likely test variations between a close-to-campus college-town store and one in a suburban setting such as the Lakeland site across Florida Avenue from Lake Miriam Plaza.
One thing we do know: The Tallahassee store is partnering with area breweries for its “Pours” section, which includes space to hang out and sip coffees, kombuchas, smoothies, beers and wines; Publix hopes the brewery partnerships can provide a roadmap for the GreenWise Markets that follow in Lakeland and other cities, a sidebar article notes.
ALSO: Tampa Bay Business Journal declares GreenWise Market a “paradigm shift” for the Lakeland-based supermarket giant, providing consumers more of a shopping experience and less of a one-stop grocer.
What goes up can also come down. You might remember that city commissioners raised the base rate for Lakeland Electric customers last month. On Tuesday, they reduced the fuel charge for October through December. Bottom line: The “typical” residential customer using 1,000 kWh a month will see a 50-cent reduction in the electric portion of their monthly utility bill.
If any company can succeed at building a new-to-them grocery concept from scratch, it’s Publix Super Markets, UF retailing expert Steve Kirn (LinkedIn) tells Sarasota Herald-Tribune retail columnist Laura Finaldi. Lakeland is one of four cities Publix has chosen to re-launch its GreenWise Market concept (see our previous story), and Kirn says each location will help Publix test different aspects of the venture. The Lakeland store is being built across South Florida Avenue from the Lake Miriam Publix.
A Polk County solar co-op that the Morning Paper wrote about in February and editorialized about in May is launching next month, The Ledger reports. Once organizers get enough home owners to commit to installing solar systems, they’ll seek bids from contractors, who typically offer a 10-20 percent discount, according to Rick Garrity of Lakeland, who helped form a solar co-op in Hillsborough County. The launch ceremony is planned for 10 a.m. Sept. 26 at Polk County government HQ at 330 W. Church Street in Bartow, according to a Facebook post.
Grocery and convenience stores in unincorporated Polk can now sell beer and wine on Sunday mornings. County commissioners on the prevailing side of Tuesday’s 3-2 vote said those merchants should have the same rules as competitors within Lakeland and Lake Wales city limits. Unlike in Lakeland, alcohol sales will still not be allowed in restaurants in unincorporated Polk before noon on Sundays.
ALSO: Ledger coverage
Lakeland Electric is holding three public meetings this week on a proposed rate increase that would add about $2.50 a month to the average home customer’s utility bill. An in-person meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at the RP Funding Center. In addition, online-only meetings are scheduled for tonight and Thursday.